Physiotherapy is a vital part of the recovery process following a cancer diagnosis.
Treatments for cancer, such as surgery and radiation, can lead to the development of scar tissue and significant restrictions that may impact your ability to move through a full range of motion. Physiotherapy can help reduce the painful side effects of surgery, including scar tissue, and help restore function so you are able to move properly and return to exercise.
Specific exercise programmes can help combat the effects of treatments and medication by helping to reduce fatigue and improving range of motion, flexibility and strength. Exercise can also help improve self-esteem and confidence following a life changing diagnosis. Exercise is also the key to getting back to the activities you did before your diagnosis – like having the energy to go to work or to keep up with your kids.
Following breast cancer surgery you will need assistance to recover chest and arm flexibility as well as rib cage alignment. This is extremely important to help you prevent back pain and nerve pain.
Physiotherapy also helps you recover normal breathing mechanics which can help reduce anxiety, the feeling of being short of breath, and help prevent a range of issues such as neck and shoulder pain. How well you can breathe and how you use your chest and shoulder muscles after a surgery like a mastectomy can greatly impact you ability to return to full fitness as well as long term pain management and fatigue.
Physio can also help minimise the effect of chording and other side effects of breast cancer treatment.
Following thyroid cancer and other neck surgeries people often require assistance with scar management, joint stiffness. Recovering normal muscle activation and optimal range of movement is also important for recovery in order to minimise neck and shoulder issues and to preserve your ability to turn your head left and right.
Senior Physiotherapists Pip Coomes & Ali Gibson have both had additional training in providing care for people following a cancer diagnosis. Pip is also a certified PINC physio. If you would like a copy of information on the services we provide for women following a cancer diagnosis please email [email protected] and we will post it out to you.